Apr 29 2010

7 Content Development Strategies That Get Results

Category: link buildingTom Shivers


In my last post I defined what it means to have useful web content for the business, especially from the perspective of Google’s algorithm. If you aren’t sure what I mean by useful content you might want to read: Useful Content Is Part of The Algo

In this post I want to take this concept further by outlining several excellent content development strategies endorsed by other online marketing pros.Bugs Bunny Creativity

1. Develop a great resource – Matt Cutts, Google
“Have a well rounded site: great content has to be the foundation of any good site because mediocre content tends not to attract exceptional links by itself, and if your trying to get exceptional links on crappy content, your going to be pushing up hill. It’s much better to have great content  where you get those links naturally, then you have both. Rather than having something that’s not that interesting and trying to push, push, push and bug people and send out spam emails asking for links and those sorts of things. So a well rounded site has interesting, useful content, great resources, great information and then that naturally attracts links.”

2. Cheat sheets and checklists – Sam Niccolls, SEOmoz
“Cheat sheets and checklists make great linkbait – cheat sheets are great for driving site engagement, links and bringing people back to the site.”

3. Let your customer speak for you – Bryan Eisenburg, FutureNow
“Leverage the voice of the customer (often obtainable from social media, etc.) in product descriptions, category groupings, reviews and ratings, and letters of recommendation. Your customer can say things about your business that you cannot say.”

4. Answer questions that lots of people are asking – Dan Thies, SEO Coach
Research questions that your target audience wants answered by:

  • Using Yahoo Answers
  • Try general keywords in search
  • Collect 10-20 top questions being asked
  • Include questions they don’t ask, but should
  • Identify pre-sell questions and post sell questions
  • Create social bookmark feeds that populate a web page on a given topic

5. Turn real-time conversations into web content – Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz
Your tweets, chats, facebook status updates, etc. can be turned into a web page of topical content. For example, any of your tweets about a given topic, like organic SEO, can be compared and edited to become unique content that belongs to me. Also, real time chat on my website can be edited and become user generated long tail content on your website. These are sources of content that typically do not get indexed in search engines anyway, but could be useful content with a little editing.

6. Leverage syndicated content effectively – Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz
The problems with using syndicated content:

  • It’s duplicate content
  • Most require you to link back to the original source
  • The content may not earn search traffic

Solutions – make syndicated content unique by:

  • Adding an editor’s note
  • Making the title unique
  • Rewriting the piece
  • Adding user generated content to the piece (such as allow commenting)
  • Earn link references to your content and it will likely rank well in search engines

7. More ideas from Matt Cutts

  • Original research – if someone does even a little bit of work to dig into a subject, they are a lot more likely to get links.
  • If you do a conference presentation, that’s a great way to get links because people will live blog it, they’ll link to your website, all those sorts of things.
  • Get a blog and establish yourself as an authority. There’s no excuse for a company today not to have a blog. It’s really not that hard to do. Post funny pictures is one way, but build your blog up as a resource of good articles, how-tos, tutorials, etc.
  • Make sure your site has good site architecture. You’d be amazed at how many sites don’t think about “Can my site be crawled? Can my site URLs be bookmarked? Can Google get to all the pages on my site?” Make it easy to link to individual pieces of content on your site.

HubSpot recently published Marketing Data compiled from 2500 businesses. The following chart makes my point loud and clear – a well executed content development plan adds useful content to your website that builds links and gets results:

leads by indexed web pages

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